Here is another adventure for a staycation weekend. It’s called Jet Lev or jet packing. We found it on Groupon of course and decided to try the one in Newport Beach.
Three of us set out, one guy and two woman to try exciting this ride that looked so fun on paper. As we were driving up to Newport from Oceanside, we were imagining what it would be like to be suspended 30 feet in the air as if we were flying.
It seemed like bliss.
30 feet is as high as the jet pack would go but we soon discovered there is a huge learning curve and only the guy in our group actually made it over 2″ from the water surface. I thought that they had control of it and I was thinking how happy I would be as they floated me above the water with a birds eye view of the magnificent Newport harbor.
We soon discovered that we actually handled the controls and that they were very touchy. One small jerk and down you go. The guy in our group went first and after many tries was able to do a bunch of flights with his best run maybe 7′ out of the water.
Now it was my turn. It was a cold gray day in Newport and I reluctantly squeezed into the provided wetsuit to begin my flight. To start our journey we took a short boat ride from shore and soon arrived on a pontoon boat out in the middle of the harbor. As it was your turn, they fitted the apparatus on you and then it was a small jump into Newport Bay.
Yes it was cold but you were excited and didn’t care.
So it began. I call the long journey to hell! I am a surfer from way back so I am used to being pummeled under water from wiping out but I was unprepared as my first ride did not go well. As I jerked the controls I was pushed under water and it felt like I was going to be jettisoned to the bottom. Of course that is not the case but it felt like it as I flapped my arms and legs trying to reach the surface. There I was floating in the water, thinking, “what just happened”?
They asked if I wanted to try again, of course I….didn’t. But I did. After a few more runs with arms and legs flailing about trying to save myself from an imaginary drowning, it was time to rest for a minute. Of course there is no danger of drowning as they have an escort on a jet ski nearby in case something went wrong. Plus the pack isn’t that heavy and doesn’t keep you down. After a few minutes I gave the o.k. sign. Now I was getting better, I was actually out of the water even if it was just my toes a few inches from the surface. I was up in the air! Unfortunately, I had a nose itch and my hands went off the controls for a brief second which sent me back into the bay! Note to self, don’t itch your nose while doing this. One more run and I was getting it!!!! I was above water, oh wait no, back in the water. I think I actually had it down and could do it this time, but unfortunately the body was spent. Too much flapping around, too much unnecessary panicking, I was done.
The next girl in our group experienced the same thing, she got about as high as I did. With no surfing experience, she was ready to quit after only one run. Here she is trying to get it going.
Like a trooper, she kept at it too, until she was finally too tired to continue. Even our guy friend said he panicked a little at first and he is a certified scuba diver.
With all of this said, I am glad I tried it. We laughed for months about this, in fact, it was probably one of the adventures that we laughed about the most.
I have since been back to Newport and have seen people riding these jet packs and they make it look like so much fun. I really do recommend you trying it, just keep in mind that you will go under water and it has tricky controls. I think it is best to go a few times to get the hang of it. I really don’t want to give my seal of approval or disapproval on this adventure. You have to decide for yourself.
Here is a video of our guy trying it and a funny one of non surfer girl jumping in the water with the pack on her back. Warning: Plug your ears.
Or check out the videos on the below website and see if it is what you would like. As I mentioned I am glad I experienced it and can mark it off my bucket list.